Thursday, December 15, 2016


It is cold outside just now.  No surprise since it is getting close to the winter solstice on Wed, Dec. 21 at 4:44 AM Central Standard Time.  I intend to ignore the exact moment but it has import.  We are told that the earth is getting warmer and that may well be true but with a windchill of -15° F, it is hard to detect.  My hands tend to develop skin fissures, little irritating splits like a paper cut that do not get infected but bother nevertheless.  So, I am avoiding outdoors for now.

Every morning, I get quite a few email messages from Amazon, Shambhala, and others.  It is the Christmas season and time to give gifts, which means extra active, rigorous shopping. Some reports say 20% of the year's sales come during the Christmas season so the retailers I deal with flood me with offers, deals, etc.  I am avoiding more and more wonderful offers.  Right now, if the email isn't from a person, if it is just an organization trying to get me to buy or shop, I am avoiding it. In fact, deleting it, unopened.

Off and on, I get information that older people, such as those 60 years old or more, should exercise but can probably do just as well with less that when they were 30 years old.  A dean of physical exercise said just once a week lifting weights could be enough to maintain basic strength.  I used to jog 2.5 miles three times a week.  Now I do half a mile three times a week, although I have added vigorous sprints of about 50 yards twice in that half mile.  I am avoiding young adult sorts of exercise.

When this much colder weather hit, I was very conscious of deciding to deliberately avoid walking outside in the cold wind.  Ever since about halfway through the recent presidential campaign, I decided to avoid campaign and candidate news.  Then, it felt so good that I added avoidance of all news.  I have too many books I want to read and too many friends I want to talk and write with to spend time on the antics of that politician or this one.

Avoiding music that is currently popular with the college set is rather easy for me.  When I go to the college cardio center to lift a few weights, I hear what they play over the public speaker system.  Today, I heard sounds that I swear would be good for extracting info from terrorists [if they were my age].  On the way over, I was listening to Kathleen Battle sing Mozart's "Exsultate, jubilate" K. 165

For me, there is no, I mean, zero, comparison with what is played on the "Party Favorites" channel or the "Y2K" channel on the Charter/newnameSpectrum and Battle or Kiri Te Kanawa or Cecilia Bartoli singing Mozart with a full orchestra.  Pop music is another thing I tend to avoid.

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